Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
World Trade Organization
214.   The Secretariat's technical cooperation activities have the objective of assisting Members and Observers to meet their developmental and other domestic policy objectives, such as innovation and industrial policy, health, regulatory aspects, competition policy and environmental protection, through the trade and IP regime, in line with their domestic circumstances and priority needs. 215.   During the review period, the Secretariat's technical cooperation activities in relation to the TRIPS Agreement continued to focus on assisting Members and Observers to understand their rights and obligations under the Agreement. Additionally, Members and Observers continued to receive tailored assistance regarding notifications and reviews of national legislation. Activities are essentially driven by demand from developing and least developed country Members, as well as from governments preparing to accede to the WTO. Partnerships and coordination with other intergovernmental organizations and key stakeholders are, of course, integral to our work and are increasingly important and valuable. Overall, the Secretariat is committed to continue its efforts to provide tailored support, subject to Member guidance, in order to respond to your needs and priorities. 216.   Let me say few words about building capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. A particular priority continued to be responding to the needs of Members in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic response and preparedness. In the spirit of an integrated approach to address the pandemic, in February the Directors-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the WTO reaffirmed their commitment to enhance support to Members battling COVID-19 and took stock of a number of initiatives delivered during the reporting period. Those included: a. an updated extract of the Trilateral Study entitled "Integrated health, trade and IP approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic" in October 2021; b. the second of a series of trilateral workshops on Accessing and Using Information Resources for the Pandemic Response held in February this year; and c. the launch of the Trilateral Technical Assistance Platform in April 2022. This platform provides a one-stop shop that makes available the full range of expertise of the three organizations, and other partners, regarding the interface of public health, IP and trade matters in a coordinated and systematic manner. The objective is to build Members' capacity to effectively respond to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 217.   To help respond to the continuing demand for interdisciplinary and integrated technical assistance on public health, trade and IP, the Secretariat also held a number of global workshops related to COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness. 218.   A brief summary of other main activities. In cooperation with WIPO, the WTO organized two flagship capacity building activities: a. the 17th edition of the Colloquium for IP Teachers which covered a wide range of IP policy and legal issues, such as IP and public health, IP and e-commerce, IP and biotechnology, IP and artificial intelligence, and IP and blockchain, held from 1 to 12 November 2021; and b. the Advanced Course on Topical Intellectual Property Policy Issues to equip government officials with the tools to develop and apply domestic policies that contribute to the IP development process and the achievement of domestic policy objectives, held from 28 March to 8 April 2022. 219.   Another main capacity building activity included the annual workshop on the implementation of Article 66.2: incentives for technology transfer to LDCs. In our continuous efforts to improve the value and impact of this annual dialogue between LDC Members and developed country Members, this year under the guidance of LDC Members, the Workshop was devoted to specific fields of technology transfer critical for sustainable development. The Workshop featured highlights of a WTO survey on LDC needs and priorities for technology transfer, as well as a summary of developed country Members' annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. 220.   In terms of technical cooperation resources, the WTO produced an array of capacity building materials. For instance, a new book entitled "Trade in Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Trade and Development in a Transformed Global Economy" was published in March, the result of a process that commenced with a technical assistance workshop which drew together officials and experts from a wide range of developing countries to explore their capacity building needs in this evolving field. It complemented the launch of the WTO Trade in Knowledge portal, which provides materials aimed at helping policymakers and others keep abreast of current developments; understand the changing patterns of cross-border knowledge flows; and consider the legal, economic and policy dimensions. The WTO Secretariat also launched the report "Tackling Illicit Trade in Medical Products: Better international co-operation for better health". And finally, following from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO) Workshop on Accessing and Using Information Resources for the Pandemic Response in February, we also published an Inventory of COVID-19 Information Resources which can be accessed on the WTO's COVID-19 webpage. 221.   The peer-reviewed academic journal, the WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers, building on the Colloquium series, continued to strengthen scholarship and dialogue on development and other policy issues across the developing world. 222.   Let me just say few words finally towards technical assistance generally at the WTO with TRIPS component just to highlight that the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation organizes many activities that include a significant TRIPS component. During this reporting period, this included two regional trade policy courses, a Virtual Executive Trade Course, a Virtual Introductory Trade Policy Course for LDCs, an in person Advanced Trade Policy Course for government officials. 223.   Before closing let me just announce something which has been posted on our webpage this afternoon. Let me briefly draw your attention to a Workshop on Innovation and Access to Diagnostics for COVID-19 and Beyond, that will be held on 28 October 2022 from 2pm to 4.30pm. This capacitybuilding activity will be jointly organized by the WHO, WIPO and WTO secretariats. Following a factual introduction by the trilateral agencies to diagnostics, looking at the innovation and access landscape from a health, trade and IP perspective, panellists with various backgrounds are invited to discuss challenges, opportunities and the way forward to secure innovation and access in this particular area. While primarily targeting the membership of the three Organizations, the event is also open to other interested stakeholders. The registration link to attend this fully virtual workshop is included in the web announcement that you found as of now while we are speaking on our respective web pages. 224.   I close by encouraging Members to continue to consult with us on priority needs for capacity building. We aim to work very closely with Members to ensure that technical assistance, and the empirical foundation of that work, continue to respond in a tailored way to their evolving needs and priorities, and bolsters capacity to undertake policymaking in IP, trade and related policy fields in a practical and focused manner that supports development goals.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
53. The Chair recalled that in July 2022, the Council had agreed to hold the annual review of technical cooperation at the present meeting.
54. Developed country Members had been requested to update information on their technical and financial cooperation activities relevant to the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who also made available technical cooperation were encouraged to share information on these activities. The Secretariat had issued an Airgram on 11 July 2022 reminding developed country Members of this request. Intergovernmental organizations observers to the Council and the WTO Secretariat had also been invited to provide information.
55. The Council had received information from the following developed country Members: Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda the European Union has also submitted information in this regard. These reports are being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TC" stands for "Technical Cooperation".
56. Intergovernmental organizations had also submitted updated information: the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda, had also submitted information in this regard. Their reports were being circulated in the same document series .
57. The report of the WTO Secretariat on technical cooperation activities in the TRIPS area was available in document .
58. The representatives of the European Union; the United Kingdom; the United States of America; Australia; Switzerland; Canada; New Zealand; Japan; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; the WTO Secretariat; the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); and the World Health Organization (WHO) took the floor.
59. The Chair noted that most of the valuable information provided by Members and IGO observers had been received only very recently. He would provide delegations an opportunity at the next regular meeting to make further comments on the information submitted.
60. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1